By Jason Meidl, Funeral Director of Creston Valley Funeral Services
We live in a world of opposing extremes and British Columbia is no different. As I gaze out of my office window to see the valley completely blanketed in excessive amounts of snow, I can’t help but reflect on how, over the past two years, we have come through seasons of Extreme fires, catastrophic flooding, a global pandemic and now more snow than we’ve seen in a while. One thing is constant through it all and that is our resilience as a community to move forward and see the good in the world we live in. As we move towards 2022 I want to share something my wife shared on one of her many Instagram Posts (@ runnergurl55) – “As we move into 2022 I have decided to take an attitude of realism. . I’ve always started the New Year thinking, “This year must be better than the last,” but this attitude has not proven to be helpful or realistic. Instead, I choose to embrace what is and focus on the best version of myself for my family, my workplace, and myself. I wish you all a happy new year. ”
“What is Physician-Assisted Dying and how does it work? – Howard
Since 2016, it has been legal in Canada for an eligible person suffering from a serious and irremediable illness to have access to Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). AMM allows a physician or nurse practitioner to assist an eligible patient to voluntarily end their life. Eligibility for MAID is based on the following criteria:
• Be at least 18 years old
• Be eligible for publicly funded health services in Canada
• Have a serious and irremediable medical condition (In other words, serious illness, disease or disability in a state of advanced decline with intolerable suffering.)
• Voluntarily request MAID without coercion or influence
• Must have the mental capacity to provide informed consent to receive MAID, including at the time of taking the drug, as determined by one or more of the healthcare providers involved
It is not uncommon for a family to approach a funeral home to begin the organizing process when a loved one has made the choice to pursue MAID. On many occasions, I have had the privilege of sitting down with the families and the person who chose MAiD to review the funeral arrangements in advance. As a funeral director, it is a unique experience because I meet the person I will take care of after the death, which we don’t often do. Often these meetings are just a conversation in which I get to know the person and their wishes. A large part, if not one of the most important goals, of my job is to build relationships with my families. At times like this, it’s no different.
When we think of an obituary, we often think of sending flowers or donating to charity in memory of someone. In 2018, a woman died from a prolonged illness. This woman was known as a loving and caring teacher and when she died her last request was that instead of flowers people donate backpacks full of school supplies to underprivileged children. The chapel as his service was full of backpacks. A unique and meaningful way to remember someone.
Keep asking your questions at [email protected]!